“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, And I was jealous for her with great fury.” — Zechariah 8:2
As I write this, much of the world has been impacted in some way by the Coronavirus. Some places are opening, but many people are still isolated. People are losing their jobs. People have lost loved ones. People that are close to me have had their lives endangers by this sinister virus. All of this, combined with all the normal levels of suffering, death, and trauma that goes on each day, makes me long for a better world!
In Zechariah 8, we find that the Lord of hosts is longing for a better world as well. He says He is “jealous for Zion with great jealousy…” Zion was one of the high points in Jerusalem. It was the most fortified part before David captured it and made it his stronghold. It came to represent a place where God’s authority and power were established in Jerusalem and over the whole earth.
As we read the chapter, we find out what God was looking forward to:
- Returning to Jerusalem and dwelling in the midst thereof (v.3)
- Making Jerusalem a city of truth and holiness (v.3)
- Seeing old and young alike walking and playing in the streets of the city (v.4-5)
- Saving His people and bringing them to dwell in the city (v.7-8)
- Being their God and ruling in truth and righteousness (v.8)
- Blessing His people with prosperity (v.10-13)
- Having people from all over the world come to Jerusalem to seek Him, to pray to Him, and to be taught by the Jewish people (v.20-23).
So, Zion is about a place and a time when God is at the center of everything, when God is among His people, when God’s people are being greatly blessed, and when God is worshipped by everyone.
This of course looks forward to the millennial (thousand-year) reign of Christ on this earth, but it also speak to us today. It reminds us:
- We are not living in the world that we want or even that God wants.
- Just as we long for a better world, so does God does.
- One day, God will make all things new, a new heaven and a new earth.
- Only as we look to Jesus and make Him the focus of our thoughts, our world, and everything will we begin to find the blessing and the peace that only He can give.